Laibach @ The Electric Ballroom, Camden

2nd April 2015
Review by Ann Sulaiman
Photographs by Graham Hilling

Laibach Laibach

Martial Industrial maestros Laibach played to a full house on the London date of their European tour.

Laibach Laibach

With an audience that ranged from young to old, goths to emos (and the inevitable number of hipsters), it was interesting to note the far reach of their legacy. At the same time, it wouldn’t have hurt to have seen some light dancing from everyone, though it was just as likely down to new album “Spectre” having more subdued material.

Laibach Laibach

The experimental and “arty” direction of this record meant that a more restrained performance was in order, which Laibach delivered for most of the show. However, in this instance, it also made for a mainly dull live show up until the intermission.

Laibach Laibach

Part of the issue came from “Spectre”s dreamlike synth, which floated through each song with little or no spark of musical activity to counteract it.

Laibach Laibach

Another was the decision to hold back the album’s energetic fare until the gig’s second half; frontman Eber delivered his usual, wonderfully gruff monotone, yet cohort Mina Špiler seemed like she had to stay in his shadow by only doing background vocals.

Laibach Laibach

Seeing as how her voice suggested a range from delicate soprano to the sass of soul during this half of the show, it left little of an impression this way on the crowd.

Laibach Laibach

Thankfully, everything picked up after intermission when the more aggressive songs were played. In addition to electronic riffs and Eber’s voice taking on a harder edge, namely on ‘Ballad of A Thin Man’ and ‘B Mashina’; Špiler had a chance to shine when she performed solo on ‘Eat Liver!’

Laibach Laibach

Even though the new album was the focus of Laibach’s concert at The Electric Ballroom, many still associate them with the harsher, catchier songs of their earlier years, ‘Geburt Einer Nation’, ‘Tanz Mit Mir’ and ‘Leben Heisst Leben’.

Laibach Laibach

For readers at home, this reporter is happy to say that these three were performed by the end, with much enthusiasm and vigorous dancing by the audience.

Laibach Laibach

 

 

SETLIST:

Olav Trygvason poem
Eurovision
Walk With Me
No History
Whistleblower
Koran
Resistance Is Futile

(Intermission)

Each Man Kills
Americana
We Are Millions
B Mashina
Ballad of A Thin Man
Eat Liver!
Bossanova
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean

(Encore)

Geburt Einer Nation
Tanz Mit Mir

(Encore II)

Leben Heisst Leben

 

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